The Representative Office Of The Ukrainian People


Appeal to UNESCO to prevent the removal of Orthodox relics from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

The Representation of the Ukrainian People officially appealed on behalf of millions of Ukrainians to the specialized agency of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, demanding that Orthodox relics be prevented from being removed from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

The Council of the People's Representation noted that the destruction of cultural heritage by the Zelensky regime in Ukraine over the past nine years has been a constant effort to destroy everything that binds the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. The Representation of the Ukrainian people has categorically opposed the relocation of the relics of the saints from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra to the European Union countries and asks the UNESCO leadership to contribute to the preservation of the cultural heritage of both Ukrainian and Russian people.


The full text of the letter is given below: 

Director-General of UNESCO

Ms. Audrey Azoulay

Dear Ms. Azule,

Allow me to express to you my deepest respect and confirm that the Mission of the Ukrainian people fully accepts the provisions and objectives declared by UNESCO: to contribute to peace and security by promoting cooperation between States and peoples in the fields of education, science and culture; to ensure justice and respect for the rule of law, universal respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations for all peoples without distinction of race, sex, language or religion.

That is why we appeal to you on behalf of millions of Ukrainians who do not support the current political regime in Ukraine: all the above provisions and goals are rudely and unceremoniously violated in our country. Over the past nine years, Ukraine has been under the dictate of an anti-democratic, right-wing radical, totalitarian ideology that destroys the rights and freedoms of its citizens and discriminates against them on the basis of language, nationality, and religious affiliation.

We know that the Organization, shocked by the outbreak of war, has declared its intention to work closely with the Zelensky regime to protect key historical monuments and sites throughout Ukraine. In addition, UNESCO has approached the Ukrainian authorities with an offer of assistance in safeguarding museum collections and cultural property.

However, without any military action, the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people has been ruthlessly looted and destroyed. Barbaric development in the historical center of Kiev, Odessa, widespread demolition of historical buildings for commercial interests was the norm for many years. The most telling example of the present attitude of the Ukrainian authorities to cultural monuments is the mass demolition of Soviet-era monuments, including those on war graves - despite the fact that most of them are in state protection registers.

The holdings of Ukrainian museums have never been subjected to a transparent audit, as they have always been a means of personal enrichment for the officials who have access to them. Black archaeology has always flourished on the territory of the country, excavations of ancient burial mounds and other burials are massive. During the period when Crimea was part of Ukraine, several million dollars worth of historical gold and artifacts from Greek, Scythian and Gothic burial sites were illegally exported from there every year.

The main threat to World Cultural Heritage sites is not missile strikes, but theft of money allocated for their maintenance. As for the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, the center of Eastern Orthodoxy and a sacred place for the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, we are witnessing its desecration to suit the current ideology of the Zelensky regime. We are also deeply concerned about information about the possible transfer to European Union countries of cultural property and relics of saints, which were previously preserved in Lavra by Orthodox monasticism.

We realize that the main goal of the Kiev regime is not to preserve, but to destroy everything that in any way connects Ukraine and Russia: historically, culturally, spiritually. The entire official policy of Ukraine after 2014 was built on the need for war with Russia. What happened on February 24, 2022 is only a consequence of purposeful actions of the political power, which has no goal of sustainable development of the country, expanding the rights and freedoms of citizens, ensuring justice and respect for the rule of law, expanding cooperation in the field of education, science and culture.

Those whom you are trying to help have only the goal of destroying Russia, for which they are ready to destroy their own country - together with all cultural values and all people. Therefore, if UNESCO really wants to help the Ukrainian people, we call on you to turn the Organization's efforts to a transparent, public and complete audit of everything that is in the spotlight as a cultural heritage site and needs to be protected.

In addition, we ask you to prevent any attempts to remove the cultural treasures of the Ukrainian people from the territory of Ukraine and to ensure comprehensive control over the preservation of all that constitutes our cultural wealth. Including the Orthodox shrines of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. 

Madam Director General, please accept the assurances of my highest consideration.

Secretary of the Representation of the Ukrainian People Dmytro Vasilets